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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Ice Pirates (1984)



Reviews and Comments

I'm rarely at a loss for words. I'm at a loss for words. The Ice Pirates is perhaps the most bafflingly silly movie I have ever seen. I've seen many silly movies, and I enjoy many of them, but the silliness in The Ice Pirates outrageous yet with an unclear purpose. Is this a comedy? Or is it supposed to be a Star Wars clone with an overabundance of comic relief? Would anyone other than a twelve year old boy appreciate any of this?

My rating gives this movie the benefit of the doubt. This is not a truly odious movie, just one that makes no sense. It's a cult movie, I am told, and I can see how a small number of people whose weird senses of humor coincide with its. And I confess that I found a few things to laugh at myself -- particularly the surprise heroic rescue at the very end. I didn't understand any of it, but I did find it funny.

Unfortunately there is more confusion than humor, and it's not all due to the movie's unconventional approach to storytelling. The editing and camerawork is annoyingly shoddy. There is no sense of place here; rarely is there any feel for what is happening where. The result is that too much effort is spent trying to figure out what's going on, why, and where everybody is. The movie's low budget can be blamed in part but not in full.

Again, I'm not sure what to make of it. It's a cheap Star Wars lookalike that has gobs of outrageous juvenile humor and makes zero sense. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you'll probably love it.